Biden’s holiday message: ‘Our darkest days with COVID are ahead of us, not behind us’
President-elect Joe Biden waxed apocalyptic in a holiday message during a press briefing on Tuesday. Painting a bleak, pessimistic future for America, he said that the worst is yet to come in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and our darkest days are ahead of us, not behind us.
Biden read from prepared remarks at a briefing that was billed as a message to the American people for the holidays.
“One thing I promise you, about my leadership during this crisis: I’m going tell it to you straight. I’m going tell you the truth, and here is the simple truth. Our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us. So we need to prepare ourselves, to steel our spines, as frustrating as it is to hear. It’s going to take patience, persistence, and determination to beat this virus.”
The president-elect said that even with the first round of vaccine distribution underway, the virus remains a threat and the death rate, hovering around 3,000 Americans a day, is not expected to decrease any time soon.
As opposed to President Trump’s message of hope and cheer for the season, Biden’s doom and gloom predictions are arguably not meant to encourage Americans. Trump has been saying since last spring that the country is about to turn the corner in its fight against the disease. According to Biden, we are allegedly about to be sucked under in a whirlpool of pandemic death.
Biden did not take heart from the rollout of vaccines, the passage of coronavirus relief legislation, and the rapid pace of economic growth as indications of overcoming the virus. He seemed bent on setting expectations low and making the case for renewed stimulus spending when he takes office in January. More to the point, he seems to be saying he is the only one who can save America from the pandemic.
He thanked healthcare and front-line workers in his briefing, and said his family usually has 25 people or so over for Christmas, “but not this year.” “Like we did over Thanksgiving,” we all have to care for each other by staying apart, Biden said. “I know it’s hard.” Public health experts have advised Americans to not travel or gather in large groups as coronavirus cases spike and the death toll rises across the country.
The briefing had one strange encounter. Peter Doocy of Fox News was not chosen to ask a question, but received a bizarre response when he shouted a question about whether the president-elect still thought the Hunter Biden story was “Russian disinformation”:
Fox's Peter Doocy asks Biden if he still believes that "the stories from the fall about your son Hunter were Russian disinformation and a smear campaign."
After first mocking Doocy as a "one-horse pony" and saying "God love you," Biden replies "yes, yes, and yes" pic.twitter.com/R9l3yiYq5X
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 22, 2020
The President-elect’s remarks come one day after Biden received his first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine on live national television and reassured Americans of the vaccine’s safety.
“I look forward to the second shot, and I have absolute confidence in the vaccine,” Biden said on Tuesday. “But we’re in short supply. Taking the vaccine from a vial into the arm of millions of Americans is one of the biggest operational challenges the United States has ever faced.”